News from AFCAT - May 2011

The French Association of Calorimetry and Thermal Analysis had its annual meeting last 17-19 May 2011 in the town of Tours, ambulance in the mid of the “Châteaux de la Loire” area. Tours, cure which was the capital of the French kingdom in the 15-16th centuries, sickness keeps a much vivid Old Town which is especially attractivefor the 25 000 studentswhose faculties are in the close neighbourhood, on the banks of the Loire river.
The venue was the Conference Room of Lycée Descartes, a nice college built by Napoleon and where Leopold Senghor was teacher of French literature in the late thirties (see picture),
before becoming the first  President of Senegal (from 1960 to 1980), a famous French poet and one of the 40 members of the AcadémieFrançaise…
The meeting was organized by JérômeSaillard (Chair) and other staff members of the Atomic and Alternative Research Center (CEA). It gave a great part to the Characterization of Materials by Thermal Analysis. There were vivid sessions on Materials for Health and Environment (chaired by DanièleGiron, the former President of STK), on Materials for Energy (chaired by AlineAuroux) and on Materials for High Technology Materials (chaired by the AFCAT President, Jean-Marc Buisine).

It was also during this meeting that the EdouardCalvet Award was bestowed. This award was established in 1974, in remembrance of Professor EdouardCalvet, who, from the early twenties (when he started under the guidance of Professor Albert Tian) until his death in 1966, developed and improved heat-flowmetermicrocalorimetry to make it a highly versatile technique. Nevertheless, this award is not restricted to the field of microcalorimetry. It is indeed remitted every second year to a senior scientist “for a set of remarkable scientific works in the fields of Thermodynamics or Thermokinetics, especially if they were carried out by calorimetry or thermal analysis”. Selected by an Awards Committee of 12 members chaired by Jean Rouquerol, the award-winner was this year Prof Christoph Schick, from Rostock University (Germany), well known in the ICTAC community (in the center of the picture, between Jean Rouquerol and Prof Jean-Marc Buisine, President of AFCAT). He delivered a nice and inspiring award lecture on “Calorimetry on Time Scales from Microseconds to Days”.

Prior to the Conference dinner, the castle of Candé was selected (among many!) for the visit. Built in the 16th century, it was later open to foreign influence: it was indeed transformed in the mid19th by a British-Spanish aristocrat of Cuban origin (Santiago Drake del Castillo) and again, in the first half of the 20th century, by a Franco-American millionaire, Charles Bedaux (an adviser in work-organization in factories) whose American wife was a close friend of a famous American woman, Wallis Simpson. This is why the latter was offered the use of the castle, in June 1937, for her wedding with the duke of Windsor (formerly Edward the 8th).

The next annual meeting of AFCAT is planned to take place in Toulouse, in the Old City proper, in May 2012 and will be organized by members of Colette Lacabane’s team (especially Eric Dantras). Because of the vicinity, we hope we shall be able to welcome a number of our Spanish colleagues.

Jean Grenet (French ICTAC Councillor) and Jean Rouquerol